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WildRidge
03-20-2007, 10:08 PM
Got a call to come look at a small job, but I am having trouble coming up with some design ideas for this one. I was playing around with it in pro landscape and can't come up with anything I like. See what you guys can do...

Here is a pic of the house. This area is facing south so it is exposed to full sunlight. They are looking for low maintenance and a budget I would say $3000 and below. A few plants the owner mentioned they like is; lilac, barberry, ornamental grasses (not tall), spirea, and possibly a dogwood shrub. Also here is a layout of the new flowerbed design.

jbailey52
03-21-2007, 01:58 PM
its one thing if you have a design and want a critique, but you cant expect someone to just design this for you can ya? This seems like the most basic areas to design..

Team-Green L&L
03-21-2007, 02:02 PM
Our design fees are $75.00 hr. and I'm sure most designers are in the same range. If you aren't creative or savvy in horticulture, it may be time to bid those fees in and charge for designs.

GreenN'Clean
03-21-2007, 02:52 PM
$75 isn't that much to pay someone to do the design for you just add that cost into your estimate and its free to you anyways.

iowa
03-21-2007, 07:33 PM
how about some more aesthetic curves? Maybe I will try something on image editor when I get pro landscape working again.

TheKingNJ
03-22-2007, 02:37 PM
I don't know about in Indy, but this is how i would do it in new jersey


http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g217/rvogt/untitled.jpg

TheKingNJ
03-22-2007, 02:39 PM
not sure how to spell loriope and weigela should be a wine and rose weigela

i'll let you know where to send the check to.

TheKingNJ
03-22-2007, 02:44 PM
I just read what the owners want, you can sub the wiegela or verigated willow for a red twig dogwood, and the two pmz's on the side of the house and the birds nest spruce for your ordimental grasses.

ooo
03-22-2007, 11:48 PM
Id try on left:
Holly / Ninebark(mini) / Holly / Ninebark(mini) / Holly
next row staggered like:
Gold Globe / Lil Henry Itea / Lil Henry Itea / Gold Globe

Patio front corners and down at end of right side(not sure about right side length) Id put Golden Dwarf Hinki Cypress.

Around patio Id also put some blue rugs and/or Leptodermis Oblonga and/or your princess Spirea.

Also down right side Id put Red Clethra or Miss Kim Lilac.

The cypress, gold globes, blue rugs, holly all add color season long. The Clethra and Itea bloom in summer (not spring like most), nice scent and add some fall color. The ninebark along with the white flowers, have the purple leaves that get darker as summer gets hotter. The Miss Kim Lilac has scent and blooms. The Leptodermis blooms summer to frost (takes a few seasons to really get going well).

Just a few ideas

Just some ideas

WildRidge
03-23-2007, 01:24 AM
Thanks everyone for your work and ideas!! Landscape design has to be one of my weakest areas. The construction side of it all no problem...design side of it...ehhhh. Theking and iowa thanks for your ideas, what's your trick for coming up with a layout like what you did below?

WildRidge
03-23-2007, 11:33 AM
Ok I took a combination of theking's layout, iowa's design and ooo plant list and this is what I put together. What do you guys think?

TheKingNJ
03-23-2007, 01:18 PM
i can't tell what most of the plants are from that design, and remember to make easy acess to the lawn from the patio.

TheKingNJ
03-23-2007, 01:20 PM
also the corners of the patio should be more circular rather then straight light then curving, if you know what i mean.

WildRidge
03-23-2007, 01:34 PM
The back row on the left side is what ooo suggested, Holly / Ninebark(mini) / Holly / Ninebark(mini) / Holly

The row in front of that is the spirea.

Around the porch are the dwarf barberry's and coreopsi.

The left corner of the porch is the ornamental grass, and the right corner is the red twig dogwood.

I see what you are saying about the lines of the bed around the porch, I'll go back and make the changes.

TheKingNJ
03-23-2007, 03:19 PM
also try and stager some of the plants a little more around the patio, you dont want the design to be too uniform, and maybe stagger the spireas a little around the back row of plants

ooo
03-23-2007, 03:43 PM
Looking good. IMO...I'd put the same type of plant on both corners of the patio. And the spirea are OK but I might alternate some other small plant in there with them. Even a perennial like gaillardia that blooms almost the entire season.

jmartin
03-23-2007, 09:04 PM
I always like to put some taller plants/trees at the corners to soften them up a bit. And if you're planting a lot of the same plant, plant them in groups of odd numbers. Just looks better to me...hope this helps! Good luck!

WildRidge
03-25-2007, 12:20 AM
I added in some gaillardia's and tried staggering the spireas like you guys said. I also played around with the plants around the porch and added some blue rug juniper's but I'm not too thrilled with the layout.

AGLA
03-25-2007, 09:42 AM
The first thing that is not a logical progression in designing something is to have come up with a bed shape before anything else. That leads to the next illogical response of filling that space with plants as the solution to the design instead of responding to the house and the usage of the area (like stepping on and off the patio, or softening the corners as were mentioned).

Planting beds should be in response to the planting that is in them rather than the other way around. The plantings should be doing something to either enhance a desired use (making the area more colorful, or the house not look so tall, ...) or to mitigate something that is working against that desired result (like screening a bad view).

Figure out what is wanted out of that patio and what is going to happen around it. Maybe it makes sense to link it more to the lawn, or not. Maybe it makes sense to have higher plantings on one side for more privacy, or maybe not.

What I do know is that the more that you understand about the site, the people who are going to use it, and what they hope to do on it, the better equiped you are to respond to them. When you reduce the criteria for a design to filling in a bed shape, you reduce the results to just that.

Design is problem solving. If you reduce the problem to filling in a bed with plants, it is easy to solve. If your client sees it as enhancing the look of their house, gaining some privacy for their patio, making an outdoor room, having big parties that spill from the patio out to the lawn, and who knows what else (you should) then you have not solved their problem by filling the beds.

iowa
03-25-2007, 02:06 PM
I agree with the comment by AGLA. Figure out the shape of your beds first then fill with plants. The design I posted earlier is what we would do around here.

Oh yeah- I got PL working again. This was a quick 5 min job. I got a little skimpy on the bed curves

iowa
03-25-2007, 02:10 PM
lets make it more real

AGLA
03-25-2007, 03:24 PM
Iowa,

You said that you agreed with my comment to figure out a bed shape first then infill with plants. My comment was just the opposite. I just wanted to make it clear that I think that is going about things in an illogical manner. It is simplistic as it supposes that the whole design concept is all about arranging plants within a defined space.

My comment was that the plants should be functional first and the form of the beds should respond to the plants that are to be planted. Sometimes you are dealt a bed shape based on existing walkways or driveways, but to invent bed shapes and then decide what fits in them, is inventing a function for the landscape while ignoring everything else.

Do you guys just ask people where they want plants and then just figure out what fills the space? You don't ask how they see themselves using their property or what the problems they have that the landscape might resolve? You just see a patio and a house, decide the bed should go there, and fill it in with plants?

None of the reasons for doing anything seem to relate to the people in the house, just on what you guys think looks good. I think that as time goes by you'll learn that a lot of people want their landscapes to respond to them, to their house, and to what is going on in and around their properties.

Then again, I've landscaped in a enough places in this country to know that the one consistant thing is that what is wanted in a landscape is a keep up with the Jones's mentality. If the Jones's don't have much, the Smith's might not care either. I have not landscaped in Iowa, so I don't know what the Smith's will settle for there. Expectations are pretty high and have gotten higher in a lot of other areas of the country and you have to have some more complex solutions that are taylor made to your clients if you are going to design landscapes for them. Drawing beds and filling with plants won't cut it.

iowa
03-25-2007, 04:19 PM
Then again, I've landscaped in a enough places in this country to know that the one consistant thing is that what is wanted in a landscape is a keep up with the Jones's mentality. If the Jones's don't have much, the Smith's might not care either. I have not landscaped in Iowa, so I don't know what the Smith's will settle for there. Expectations are pretty high and have gotten higher in a lot of other areas of the country and you have to have some more complex solutions that are taylor made to your clients if you are going to design landscapes for them. Drawing beds and filling with plants won't cut it.

That is how it is around here. Keep in mind I live in a rural part of the state, and do work in a 30 mile radius. Most people say...if you go look at this place at such and such, they have this thing that I want in mine. Or, "make it look like so and so's yard." People around here are such tight asses that they think, if mine looks like everyone elses, we will be fine. So in that case, what else can you do besides place plants and beds? The only people that like unique custom tailored landscape designs are high end corporations and millionaires, which are growing in quantity, but certainly not enough to have just a market for them.

In a landscaping case its function over form if I am reading your last post right? While I have done beds before plants at times because of sidewalks, driveways, ect. I would say I do place plants before beds. I must have mis read what you said earlier.

AGLA
03-25-2007, 08:39 PM
Iowa,

You have a great opportunity to set yourself apart by being more proactive with your prospects.

You have to teach yourself to look out for things that they might not be aware of and bring it to their attention. Patios often involve food and easy acces to the kitchen is important even if they barbecue. Keep your eyes open for screening out bad views and exploiting good ones. Look to promote privacy when it makes sense. Pay a lot of attention to circulation, both pedestrian and auto. Look to avoid mixing activities that don't work well together by making buffers between them or moving them. Talk about this stuff to your prospects and make them think these things through. That will set you apart and you'll learn from it every time. The important thing is that your customers will apreciate the usefulness of the site whether they are little jobs or big jobs.

LawnScapers of Dayton
03-26-2007, 06:37 AM
this has been a very educational thread........thanks guys